eighteenth call: persevere, endure, remain stationed and fear allah
almighty allah says (what can be translated as): “o you who have believed, persevere and endure and remain stationed and fear allah that you may be successful.” (al-imran: 200)
almighty allah commands muslims to be perseverant and patient towards their religion which allah has preferred for them i.e. islam. so, they would not give up their religion whether in affliction or prosperity until they die in a state of islam and submission to allah. murabatah (ribat) mentioned in the verse is to station or deploy troops on the frontiers for protection against enemy incursions inside the muslim territories and jihad in the path of allah to spread islam. the messenger of allah (peace be upon him said): “observing ribat (e.g., guarding the islamic frontiers) for the sake of allah for a day and night is far better than the world and all that it contains.”
it is also said that murabatah in the verse means waiting to perform prayers in the mosques on the prescribed times. so, it also means remain steadfast and perform prayers regularly in mosques and fear allah, you believers, and commit to what he prescribed on you so that you may be successful.
the call is for the believers to commit to perseverance, endurance, murabatah and fear of allah. in the context of the surat (qur’anic chapter), there are many references to perseverance and fear of allah. they are mentioned together or separately. the context is also filled with the call to endure, perform jihad, stand against schemes and not to listen to the callers for failure and chaos. the surat is finally concluded with the call to perseverance, endurance, murabatah and fear of allah which is the best and most suitable conclusion.
perseverance is the sustenance of the road for this call because it is a long tiring road filled with obstacles and thorns and spread with blood, carnages, harms and tribulations. perseverance should be over many things: perseverance on the desires and inclinations of the self, its greed, lust, weakness, shortcomings, hastening and quick boredom. perseverance is also over the desires of people, their shortcomings, weaknesses, ignorance, misconceptions, ill manners, selfishness, arrogance, immorality and lack of patience when waiting for results. perseverance should be also over tyranny of falsehood, impudence of oppression, growth of evil, predominance of lust and overconfidence of arrogance and conceit. muslims should have perseverance on the lack of supporters, weakness of allies, the length of the road and the insinuations of the devil at times of affliction and hardships! we should have perseverance over the bitterness of striving all of the above and the feelings that accompany difficulties such as pain, resentment, anger, oppression and lack of confidence that goodness will be achieved and righteousness will prevail. we sometimes despair and lose hope because it is innate in humans but we should have patience over boredom, weariness and desperation. we should also have perseverance and patience at times of power, victory and prevalence by receiving prosperity with humbleness and humility without vanity. we should be patient and not to rush to have revenge and abandon justice at times of victory, we should not exceed the limits of fair retribution to commit unjust assault! perseverance should be through thick and thin by adhering to the rope of allah for better or for worse, submitting to his predestination and depending on him with assurance, peacefulness, trust and submission.
perseverance and patience should be over all of the above and whatever the person might face while walking the long road of life. the words cannot describe the difficulties people meet in life, words fail in capturing the real meaning of suffering. only those who experience the afflictions of the road realize this meaning because they tasted what it is like to go through hardships, trials and bitterness.
the believers tasted many kinds of suffering and they know its meanings and this is why they know the taste and challenge of this call. they know the meaning of perseverance that allah asks them to have and to practice.
endurance is the practice of perseverance, it is to endure all the difficult feelings, to endure the enemies who try hard to overcome and get through the patience of believers. endurance has to be a constant renewed process so that the believers do not give up due to the extensive striving. instead of giving up, believers remain steadfast and more patient than their enemies. those enemies are not only the evil people they have to face, they are the negative feelings concealed in the hearts. so, it is like a race and bet between believers and their enemies in which they are called to meet patience with patience, pressure with pressure, labor with labor and persistence with persistence. eventually, the end of this strive will end with the believers being firmer and far more patient than their enemies. if falsehood insists, endures and continues to walk the way then truthfulness should have more persistence and endurance to walk through its way.
murabatah (ribat) is to remain stationed at the places of jihad such as frontiers where there is a possibility of enemies’ attack. the muslim community was never unmindful or sleeping. their enemies did not cease to fight them ever since the muslims were called to carry the responsibility of spreading islam and educating people about the religion.
the enemies of the call of islam will never stop attacking it at any time or any place, so we should never give up morabatah and perseverance over jihad wherever we are till the end of time.
the call of islam directs people towards a realistic method of life, a method that controls their conscience, money and system of their lives. it is a fair, straightforward and bountiful method. yet, evil does not settle due to this fair, bountiful and straightforward method. falsehood does not like goodness, fairness and straightforwardness. tyranny does not give up to justice, equality and dignity. this is why the enemies of this call, such as people of tyranny, falsehood and oppression, start attacking it. the exploiters and people who take advantage of others fight the call of islam because they do not want to give up the exploitation and confiscation. the tyrants and oppressors fight the call of islam because they do not want to give up tyranny and oppression. the immoral and libertine people fight this call because they do not want to give up lusts and immorality. so, we need to fight them all. we have to have perseverance and endurance and we have to be in a state of morabatah and watchfulness so that the muslim nation is not attacked suddenly by its natural enemies who exist in every land and every generation.
this is the nature and method of this call, it does not want to violate, it rather wants to establish on earth the straightforward method and sound system. the call of islam will always face haters of this method and system; it will always face those who will stand against it using force and malice. it will face people who are waiting for it to fail and people who fight it with their hand, heart and tongue. so, the call has to accept the battle and all its obligations. it has to remain stationed, guarding and watching without a moment of inattentiveness or sleep.
piety and fear of allah accompany all those security measures. it is the attentive guard in the conscience that makes it always awake without drowsiness. it guards it against weakness, violation and going astray from the straightforward road.
only those who suffer from the afflictions of the road realize the dire need for such attentive guard because they experience all the contradicting and increasing feelings during every situation and moment. so, they know the importance of the presence of such guard, namely piety and fear of allah.
the last connotation of surat al-imran, which includes many connotations, reflects the essence of the call of islam, namely perseverance, endurance, morabatah and fear of allah. this is the summary of obligations set by this call. this is why almighty allah concludes the surat with the result of this constant jihad which is success in that regard: “…that you may be successful.” indeed, true are the words of allah the almighty.a